What started out as an idea by Wally Thurow in 1956 to offer something creative for the students of Sycamore has grown from a neighborhood display on his front yard into the town’s biggest city-wide event, beginning on Wednesday with the Opening Ceremony and cake cutting and concluding on Sunday afternoon with a parade.

The festival has over 1000 entries in the Lions Club Decorated Pumpkin Display, two carnivals, many not-for-profit vendors, three indoor craft shows, Saturday entertainment, and various activities, and it concludes on Sunday with a 90-minute  parade.  

Our History

Back in 1956, Wally Thurow, who is known as Sycamore’s “Mr. Pumpkin,” began what was to become the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival when he displayed a few decorated pumpkins on his front lawn to turn Halloween into a time of fun and creativity. In 1962, through the efforts of Mr. Pumpkin and the Sycamore Lions Club, the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival became an official celebration in Sycamore.

Every year, the Pumpkin Festival unites more than 30 DeKalb County not-for-profit groups, working to provide a weekend of Halloween fun for all. The Courthouse lawn is the center of activities, including thousands of decorated pumpkins on display, there are also art and craft shows, a house walk, a pie eating contest, a carnival, a fun fair, a race, and other events. The festival is concludes with a giant parade on Sunday afternoon.

Our Mission

The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival is a community celebration, showcasing our local not-for-profit organizations.

Our Purpose

The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Committee is responsible for coordinating the annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, a family-oriented festival, to be held in the fall of each year. The festival promotes awareness of the City of Sycamore and provides and opportunity for DeKalb County not-for-profit organizations to participate in fund raising activities, community education, and enrichment.

🎃 Congratulations to one of our longtime pumpkin parade participants, Rebecca Andersen, the Kaneland Harter Middle School Band Director! Her jazz band was selected to perform at the IL Music Educators Convention this weekend in Peoria!

Congratulations to Rebecca and her students on this major accomplishment! 🎶
Keeping Wally warm and festive!! 
🎅🏻Jolly Old St. Wally 🎶

Many thanks to the locals who do this! 🥰
🇺🇸Veterans Day
Honoring All Who Served
Changing of the holidays 🧡🎃🎄♥️
🎃🥧Congratulations to all the Kiwanis Pie Eating Contestants and Winners!! #sycamorepumpkinfestival  #pumpkinsofhistory  #sycamorepumpkinfest  #cityofsycamore  #mostwonderfultimeoftheyear🎃
🎃💍🧡 Congratulations to Erin & Jon!! #shesaidyes
Come on down to the N. Food Court now to see the SycamorePerforming Arts Academy “Artists in Air”
Come on down to the N. Food Court now… No, we’re not serving frog legs… “The Frog Lady” has brought some of her special amphibian friends to show everyone!! 🐸🐍🦎